All the latest updates on Brexit, PMQs and the prime minister’s appearance before a “super-committee” of MPs.
Northern Ireland secretary re-confirms Brexit bill will break international law
At the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has re-confirmed his statement to the House of Commons last week that the UK Internal Market Bill does break international law.
This is despite Lord Keen of Elie, the Advocate General for Scotland, telling the House of Lords yesterday that it doesn’t.
Mr Lewis told the committee he has spoken to Lord Keen.
He said: “Looking at the specific question that my honourable friend asked me last week, he agrees that the answer I gave was the correct answer.
“And actually that confirms the legal advice that was published to yourselves and others by the attorney general last week.”
He added: “As I say, the government’s legal advice that the attorney general has published was very clear about this, and the answer I gave was a very clear answer to a very specific question.”
In her annual “State of the Union” address this morning, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed that both the EU and UK negotiated and ratified the Withdrawal Agreement and warned it “cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded or dis-applied”.
It follows a storm of criticism over the government’s plan to override the Withdrawal Agreement with its UK Internal Market Bill.
“This is a matter of law, trust and good faith… trust is the foundation of any strong partnership,” Ms von der Leyen said.
She also warned that there is “very little time” for the EU to strike a future trade deal with the UK, adding: “With every day that passes, the chances of a timely agreement do start to fade.”